Bowens - The Builders Choice

What are the new restrictions for all construction sites?

Further to our update earlier today, the Government has just released additional details regarding some of the requirements residential builders will need to comply with under the Stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne.

Thursday 6th August 2020

The Business Victoria website provides further guidance regarding how the Stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne will operate.

What we know so far

Permitted Work Premises includes:

  • Building and non-building construction (including residential).
  • Construction of critical and essential infrastructure and services to support these projects, and other construction in line with restrictions.
  • Critical repairs to any premises, are allowed, where required for emergency or safety.

What are the new restrictions for all construction sites?

From midnight on Friday 7 August, the following changes will need to be adopted by Victorian residential and large-scale construction sites operating in metropolitan Melbourne.

All construction sites must:

  • Have a high risk COVID Safe Plan in place that is regularly updated. Where practicable COVID Safe Plans should be designed in consultation with workers.
  • Allow no more than one worker per four square metres of enclosed workspace.

All employees, supervisors and on site specialists will be:


  • Prohibited from car-pooling to and from work.
  • Required to inform their employer if they share accommodation with anyone working at another high risk workplace.
  • Required to limit movement between multiple sites and observe enhanced PPE and hygiene measures if working between sites.

What are the requirements for residential construction projects of less than 3 storey’s?

Each small-scale residential construction site:

  • must reduce the number of people on site to five people plus a supervisor at any one time;
  • must limit movement of workers between different sites where possible, and only with appropriate guidance; and
  • can allow supervisors to move between sites and specialist trades can move between up to three sites per week, subject to enhanced COVID safe practices.

What is considered a large-scale construction site?

A construction site is considered large scale if it is:

  • More than three storeys, or
  • Larger than 1,500m2, or
  • Any office or retail fit-out, or
  • Industrial, large format or retail use.

What are the operational requirements on large-scale construction?

  • Maximum of 25 per cent of your workforce onsite


During Stage 4 restriction, large commercial construction projects are only allowed to have a maximum of 25 per cent of their workforce on site.

All personnel count towards the 25 per cent with the exception of staff specifically dedicated to oversight of COVID safe functions in the workplace.

To calculate the 25 per cent use the average daily number of personnel on site across the project lifecycle, based on the project’s written resourcing plan as of July 2020. The resourcing plan and calculation are subject to audit.

Project lifecycle commences from the date of on site mobilisation and ends at handover.

Maximum of three sites per week for some workers

Aim to limit movement of workers between different sites.

Specialist trades, engineers and equipment that needs to move between sites should visit no more than three sites per week. All workers moving between multiple sites must observe enhanced PPE and hygiene measures.

Additional Information


  • All workers attending a workplace, office or building site, must have a workers permit to travel to and from work. Information about the permitted worker permit is avaliable here and you can download the permitted worker permit form here.
  • From midnight Friday (7 August 2020) all businesses that can remain open in metropolitan Melbourne under the Stage 4 restrictions need to have a high risk COVID Safe Plan in place. A template high risk COVID Safe Plan is now available.

More details to come

HIA is continuing to work with Government to resolve the many detailed issues arising from our industry including colour consultations and how building surveyors will operate. There will be a system of audits and checks on site where members could be required to show their COVID Safe Plans and capacities on premises.

We are in constant contact with Government about resolving these matters and will provide further updates to members as they become available.

If you have any questions please contact a HIA Workplace Adviser for assistance. Our team are currently responding to a large volume of calls and we may need to return your call, but please be assured we will work to respond to all members enquiries in a timely manner.

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